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Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Bikini Coffee Co.
I know people who have worked as baristas and they'll tell you that it's a bad idea to brew coffee while wearing sneakers and outright insane to do it while dressed in a swim suit. Nonetheless, coffee shops with bikini-clad hostesses have been popping up all over the country. A Bikini Coffee Co. location recently opened in downtown Portland, drawing plenty of local headlines and a few protesters last week. But is the coffee any good?
I wish I could tell you but, honestly, when it comes to coffee I have the tastes of a 14 year-old girl. I'm the sort of person that dumps sugar on Frosted Flakes and actually likes the flavor of Red Bull. Regular coffee tastes like acid-flavored acid to me and I can only drink a cup if I dump in a few handfuls of sugar first. Still, mochas aren't half bad and I can even go so far as to say I like the Snickers-flavored stuff that Dutch Brothers sells.
Fortunately, the downtown Bikini Coffee location sells a similar drink. Unfortunately, it tastes like it's made out of a new hybrid-brand of super sweet sugar brewed in a lab by sadistic flavor scientists. It's just too damn sweet, even for me. As for the rest of the Bikini Coffee Company's menu, it's similar to what you can find at other coffee shops with a few exceptions. There's a "make your own drink" flavor list and a few other offerings named "Blond," "Redhead" and "Brunette."
The downtown location is much smaller than I was expecting and has a sort of tropical theme. I figured the bikini girls only worked the register but I was wrong. They brave the machines themselves and I'm amazed that they're willing to do this, given the possibility of, you know, permanently scarring themselves with 180-degree cups of near-boiling liquid.
In a city that still supposedly holds the record for the highest number of strip clubs in the country per capita, it's hard to get upset over a coffee shop with girls dressed in swim suit tops and shorts. There's at least two strip clubs within a few blocks of the Bikini Coffee Company and who knows how many others within a mile radius. If it makes the protesters feel any better, if this location takes off (no pun intended) it'll open up the opportunity for some local entrepreneur to open a Bikini Briefs Coffee Co. As for myself, despite the perky staff, in more ways than one (har-de-har-har), at downtown shop, I think I'll stick with Dutch Brothers and Stumptown Coffee.